Animated short film leverages tools in Adobe Creative Cloud
Drew Christie is a new kind of multimedia artist, as comfortable with pen and ink as he is with computers and creative software. Allergy to Originality, which will be shown at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is a case in point, demonstrating how fluidly he moves between natural media and digital image manipulations.
Combining illustration with animation, the short film riffs on the theme of originality and plagiarism with long passages lifted verbatim from Wikipedia. The piece maintains a natural hand-drawn feel along with the uneven, slightly jumpy cinema of the old silent movies.
“I started creating animation before I knew what animation was,” recalls Christie. “When I was a young child I filmed my Star Wars figures using my dad’s video camera. It just went on from there.”
We are excited to announce that the Flash C++ Compiler (FlasCC) has been contributed to open source as CrossBridge and will be delivered through GitHub. FlasCC has become the standard technology to bring C/C++ content to the unparalleled reach of the web. As CrossBridge, it will enjoy the speed of innovation and improvement that the open source community can bring.
FlasCC was previously delivered as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. As CrossBridge, it is available to everyone and we invite you to join with us to improve it. Adobe will continue to invest in CrossBridge, contributing to and managing the project. CrossBridge has been released as 1.0.1, containing all the original source of FlasCC 1.0 plus several improvements to the product. In addition, we have contributed all current, on-going development work of CrossBridge 1.1, which includes an upgrade to LLVM and the front end, Clang to enable advanced C++ syntax support. We look forward to collaborating with the community to complete this exciting release.
“I work without seeing what I’m creating. Programming is like writing words.”
If qubibi’s words rings true for you, you might want to dive a bit deeper into his story. qubibi’s inspiration spurs from his observations around his home city Tokyo, Japan. He uses the city’s energy to craft his designs, emphasizing in animation. When asked how he turns an idea into art, he reveals, “I begin by writing and then I imagine music. After that, I start using digital tools like Photoshop without making any sketches, I just work directly on the computer and see how it evolves… In my case I can’t create art without Creative Cloud.” Check out his recent redesign of the Creative Cloud logo and more background on his work in the video below:
The Creative Cloud provides designers like qubibi with built-in shortcuts for everything from debugging to simple animations so they can spend less time on tedious tasks and focus on what makes web design fun, creativity. qubibi uses Creative Cloud to access his work from any computer at any time and benefits from sharing his work with fellow designers on Behance. Find out more about Creative Cloud and the future for web designers like you.
Girl Gamers are on the Rise! All Female Team of Developers from Arizona State University Follow their Dreams and Create Maia
Under guidance from Graphic Information Technology (GIT) professor Arnaud Ehgner, a team of female students from Arizona State University (ASU) has been working tirelessly on a school project to develop a one-level game on par with those created by industry professionals.
Maia, a 2D side-scroll action game for portable devices, is a magical jungle adventure that leads the player through a series of mysterious temples and ruins where the priestess—Maia—tries to head off an attack and keep peace in the village of Kuma.
The game is developed using 3D models for a 2D game. While the scenery is 2D, the characters are created first in 3D, and then transplanted into a 2D world. The team chose to develop the game using Adobe solutions including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Flash Professional because of the compatibility across platforms. Illustrator is used for the game’s concept art; Photoshop to finalize artwork with shading, touch-ups, and closing up texture seams; and Flash Professional for creating an engaging game with consistency across platforms.
“Adobe Photoshop also helps us play with the different perspectives by easily letting us translate and rotate the 3D models onto a 2D plane,” said team leader Rachel Ramsey.
The game targets female players with a strong leading female character. “I am so excited to be a part of Maia, as it has been one of my childhood dreams to create a video game with a strong female protagonist,” notes team member Jennifer Davidson.
Maia, now being expanded to three levels, will officially launch at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2014 for the Independent Gaming Competition and be available as a free demo for a limited time on iOS and Android tablet and mobile devices.
The Adobe Gaming crew has been out and about a lot lately, participating in large, multisite events that inspire youth and young adults to explore game development for fun and even as a potential profession.
First, we participated in the Global Game Jam, Jan. 25–27. More than 11,000 developers from 319 sites in 63 countries spent 48 adrenaline-fueled hours working on more than 3,100 projects based on this year’s theme, sound of a heartbeat. It was an exciting intellectual and creative marathon for programming, iterative design, narrative exploration, and artistic expression.
On Feb. 6, Adobe visited schools around the United States to promote digital literacy as part of Digital Learning Day. Nearly 25, 000 teachers and millions of students participated in all 50 states. The national campaign spotlights successful instructional technology practices in K–12 public schools.
In the Global Game Jam (GGJ), participants gathered late Friday afternoon, watched a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then received the contest’s secret “sound of a heartbeat” theme. All sites worldwide were then challenged to make games based on that theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon. Although the event is heavily focused on programming, there are many other areas where people who don’t code contributed to game development.
Many of our Adobe colleagues attended the event at locations worldwide. For instance, Adobe evangelist Andy Hall, in Sydney, Australia, went to cheer on jammers programming with Adobe Flash. “Organizers loved it and were happy to let us speak, hang around and interview people, or do whatever we wanted really,” Hall says. “With that said, at the Sydney Jam, my presence as an evangelist was not really necessary. Everyone there knew their technology backwards and forwards.”
For the GGJ, Adobe sponsored an award for the best game made with Adobe Flash, which went to Monster Sushi Train. It features a monster sushi chef who cuts hearts into shapes requested by other monsters at a sushi bar. Its programmers are Chris Suffern, Wayne Petzler, and David Kofoed Wind. Check it out at http://www.playgamespro.com/game/1844/Sushi-Monster-Train.html.
For the K-12-focused Digital Learning Day, Adobe Gaming used the opportunity to connect with students—many of whom had limited previous computer experience—tackle the task of building a game with Adobe Flash Professional. Besides introducing them to Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe helped kids from different backgrounds collaborate in ways that made the best use of each student’s unique skills and interests, whether those interests included zombies or American history.
Achieving digital literacy through game design is also one of the goals of Globaloria, an Adobe education partner. Globaloria is a turnkey academic curriculum that uses a social learning network and game design to promote computing knowledge and global citizenship. As part of Digital Literacy Day, the Adobe Foundation has committed to match all donations made to Globaloria up to $50,000. You can be a part of it by donating at http://www.globaloria.org/adobe. Besides funding Globaloria’s initiatives, your donations help fund the World Wide Workshop, Globaloria’s parent organization. The World Wide Workshop supports publicly shared, long-term projects that are complex, computational, immersive, and innovative, so children build long-term skills for learning and critical thinking.
Adobe Game Developer Tools allowed the company to create and deploy International Racing Squirrels across multiple platforms and devices from one code base. Players manage a team of unruly squirrels racing on tracks around the world and with 25 levels of fun and an iOS version of the game, it is sure to keep you busy for a while. Squirrels has received several awards including, finalist status in IndieCade 2012, finalist in 2012 Develop Indie Showcase, 4.5/5 stars by Indie Game Reviewer and was featured in Kongregate’s Hot New Games in 2012
Learn how they produced their wild, colorful new title in our most recent post case study here. If you’re looking to build your own great games with Adobe Gaming technologies, check out our Gaming site for more information.
As we move into 2013, we’re excited to make investments that support the incredible, ongoing momentum in social and mobile gaming that Adobe has championed for more than a year. Flash technologies underpinned the success of many game developers from Fresh Planet to Zynga, both in the browser and on mobile, and you can see how Adobe Gaming technologies deliver the reach needed to improve game monetization in the graphic below.
In December, the Adobe Gaming team launched the first ever, packaged Adobe Game Developer Tools via the Creative Cloud. Within 2 weeks of their availability, we had over 20,000 downloads of the tools and more than 12,000 views of the Adobe Scout video! Today, we’re making it even easier for game developers by removing a key barrier to delivering games targeting Flash Player – from this point forward, the XC APIs are no longer classified as a Premium Feature for Flash Player, which means developers can use them royalty-free without a separate license from Adobe. Developers and publishers that have published content using the XC APIs do not need to make any changes to their content to reflect this change in status for the XC APIs, and we expect this adjustment to make it even easier for developers to use Flash and AIR as their cross-device game development workflow of choice. To find out more, check out the updated FAQ here.
In addition, we’re also announcing added funding for the Away Foundation, a non-profit Community Interest Company based in the UK, focusing on building and maintaining free and open source software resources for online and mobile games and applications. This funding will support the development and release of Away3D 4.1 and an exciting new open source project for Away Builder. Away Builder 1.0 is the first open source tool project for the foundation, and will provide a visual tool for designers that exposes and edits custom Away3D settings and object properties on 3D assets without the need for coding. And just last week, we updated the Gaming SDK, which includes the latest Away3D, Starling and Feathers frameworks as well as updates for the latest runtime releases. Working with Away has already produced several exciting advances for game developers using Adobe technologies and will continue to forward the delivery of rich games targeting mobile and the browser for years to come. Starforce Delta is a great example of a beautiful 3D RPG built with Away3D and now available on the web in open beta and coming soon as a mobile app. And if a touch of the 19th century is more your thing, check out Jane Austen Regency Dressup, as well as other games using the Away3D framework on the Away3D showcase.
We also wanted to highlight a handful of great games that really reflect the breadth of creativity using Adobe Gaming technologies and show off the skills and passion of the developers who made them. Four games using Adobe Gaming technologies were recently announced as Independent Game Festival (IGF) finalists! Incredipede, a beautifully illustrated browser-based game; Dys4ia, an autobiographical game about undergoing hormone replacement therapy as a trans woman; Intrusion 2, a sci-fi action platform game; and Super Hexagon, a fast-paced reflex game where you’ve gotta be great to survive 20 seconds.
And just in case you didn’t get your fill of zombies in 2012, check out GREE’s Zombie Jombie in the iOS App Store. GREE used PhoneGap Build – another Adobe Gaming technology – for this wildly addictive RPG card game that will surely have you selling for brains. It’s shaping up to be a wide open year ahead for Adobe Gaming, and we’re looking forward to conquering new worlds with you!
For game developers who want to reach more customers, the Amazon Appstore for Android is a great marketplace to deliver games for Kindle Fire and Android devices. Today, Amazon announced the launch of free Adobe AIR Native Extensions (ANEs) for In-App Purchasing and GameCircle integration for the Amazon Kindle Fire, making it even faster and easier for Adobe Gaming developers to add these features into their mobile apps. With Amazon’s announcement yesterday that it’s extending IAP to cover games for Mac, PC, and Web platforms, ActionScript developers now have even more options to reach customers.
Each week, millions of customers play GameCircle-enabled games, comparing scores and competing against friends. We’ve seen a lot of popular Flash and AIR games in the Amazon Appstore, driving increased revenue for Adobe gaming developers. SongPop from Fresh Planet, Bingo Blitz from Buffalo Studios, Machinarium from Amanita and Stick Tennis from Stick Sports are just a few examples of great games in the Appstore built with Adobe Gaming Technology. The addition of AIR Native Extensions makes it simple for developers using Adobe AIR to quickly integrate GameCircle and IAP support into their creations.
As we announced in December, the Adobe Game Developer Tools – available via the Adobe Creative Cloud – give game developers and publishers access to a powerful set of resources in one central location. Designed to streamline the game development process from creation to deployment, the Game Developer Tools help game publishers and developers reach the broadest possible audience worldwide – over 1.3 billion connected Windows and Mac PCs and over 500 million smartphones and tablets – 20 times the reach of the bestselling Xbox 360 gaming console. The new ANEs from Amazon complement this offering, and continuing to expand the audience reach for new games.
The Adobe Game Developer Tools include Adobe Scout, an advanced profiling tool that helps developers unlock significant performance optimization, and the Adobe AIR SDK, which enables developers to package ActionScript code into native apps for Kindle Fire along with other devices. Developers can find out more and sign up for a free membership at http://gaming.adobe.com.
Developers can access the free Adobe ANEs and read the blog from Amazon here.
We’re looking forward to seeing new games take advantage of these exciting new ANEs, and how game developers blaze new trails on Amazon!
Depending on his mood and where inspiration may strike him, you might find Adobe Touch Apps user Isaiah Bela (@BelaTheBoy) creating in the bedroom, a park or in the back seat of a car. We connected with this Los Angeles-based creative after coming across his “Fluttershy” project, which he shared with the Adobe Ideas Facebook Fan Page. Impressed with his work, we reached out to find out more about his work and creative process.
Being the vector-art fanatic that he is, Isaiah discussed the simplicity of creating on-the-go with Adobe Ideas and further refining his work in Illustrator CS6 through the use of the Creative Cloud. Additionally, he provided us with useful tips for all Touch Apps users, from newbie to veteran, and much more! Check out the full Q&A below, the photo album of his creations we’ve included directly below and his work displayed on our Touch Apps Twitter and Facebook channels. You can also see more of his creations on Deviantart.
We change the way we work about once a decade. Back in the ’80s, the introduction of desktop publishing caused a profound shift in the way we communicated with each other. Ten years later, the web changed all that again. In the last decade, we’ve learned that the web isn’t just a publishing platform, but also a way to amplify our relationships with one another. We’ve embraced social networking tools as an organizing principle.
What will this decade hold? The recent wave of touch-based devices has opened our eyes to what’s possible when we step away from a keyboard and mouse. And it’s not just a new way of interacting with a screen, but a new way of thinking about technology. In a world driven by publishing, files and folders made a lot of sense. In today’s world, where we use multiple devices every day that are always connected, we have a new metaphor: the cloud.
To say that the Creative Cloud represents a big change for Adobe is a dramatic understatement. Every part of this company is rethinking what it means to solve problems for our customers and give them the tools and services to create amazing things. Although I’ve only been at Adobe a few months, it’s been remarkable to see so many people embrace so much change. (Honestly, I’m having a blast.)
So let me take a moment to explain what we’ve been up to and where we’re heading. Everything stems from two core beliefs. First, the way in which all of us acquire and manage our software is changing. Waiting a couple of years for updates to our tools is no longer tenable for many users. Our relationship to our software is more like that of a service: continuous improvements through frequent iteration. Second, it’s clear that devices like the iPad are not just for consuming content, but represent the next wave of tools for the creation of content as well. And these new capabilities need tools that have been completely reconsidered. Simple ports of desktop apps won’t do.
Everything you need
To support these new expectations from our customers, we’ve taken some dramatic steps.
A Creative Cloud membership starts with the complete Creative Suite 6 — full, installable versions of the desktop apps. We’ve added Adobe Muse, our new visual web design tool, and Edge, the HTML5 animation app. To this, we added a lot of services such as Business Catalyst for web hosting, Typekit for fonts, and up to 20 gigabytes of cloud storage for syncing and sharing your files. Then, we connected these pieces to help you go from idea to finished product, starting with web site creation and soon, we’ll add access to our iPad publishing service for making digital editions of things like magazines and catalogs via InDesign.
But perhaps the most exciting news is that we’ve made all of this available at an accessible monthly price. Yes, that gets you everything.
With so much software and so many services available to everyone, we took a step back and re-imagined the way we get that software to you. The Adobe Application Manager offers a single-click process for downloading and installing, which feels — frankly — a lot more like the app stores we use every day. And you can manage all of that software with your AdobeID: no more searching for serial numbers — just log in once with your email address and password.
Connected through the Web
All of this is tied together with the website at http://creativecloud.com/. We’ve built a clear overview of everything you get with your membership, as well as a central place to manage all your stored and shared files. But we didn’t just build a fancy file browser — there are plenty of services that let you store files online and view them on the web. Rather, we realized we could differentiate with our intimate knowledge of our file formats. Nobody knows Adobe software better than Adobe. Push a Photoshop file to the cloud, and we’ll parse the layers and color pallet, plus give you tools for sharing, leaving comments, and translating to other formats. Same goes for all our other files — easily page through large InDesign files, view the fonts in your Illustrator docs, and on and on.
We’re also rolling out a set of four touch apps for the iPad today: Photoshop Touch for pixel-level image editing and layering, Ideas for vector-based sketching, Proto for creating website wireframes, and Collage for moodboard layouts. Each of these is tightly connected with our cloud-based storage, meaning every file you create and every change you make is quickly accessible across other devices and the web. You can buy these touch apps at your device’s app store, and we’ll give you a free month of membership when you connect them to the Creative Cloud.
I hope I’ve given you a sense for the journey we’re on. It really is just the beginning, and I’ll be following up with a post on our immediate roadmap outlining all the new things that are coming in the next few weeks. If you’d like to keep up with it all, you can follow this blog, or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook. Of course, we’d like to hear from you as well, so please don’t hesitate to tell us what you think.
We’ve worked really hard on all of this, and we’re really happy with the results. I hope you are as well.
— Jeffrey Veen & the Creative Cloud Team
Jeff is the Senior Director of Products, Creative Cloud. He joined Adobe through the acquisition of Typekit, where he was co-founder and CEO. Read more about Jeff in his bio.